While the summer is getting hot in Toronto, the mayoral race is already burning up! There are currently 24 people in the running and while we are nowhere near the end of election season, the drama is officially getting started.
Today, mayoral candidate and previous Chief Planner of Toronto, Jennifer Keesmaat, made a major announcement involving the future of Toronto's affordable housing.
Housing in Toronto has gotten too expensive, and we need to take bold action, now. That’s why I am committing to build 100,000 units of truly affordable, high-quality housing within the next 10 years. #KeesmaatForMayor pic.twitter.com/EYj7gi1pHT— jennifer keesmaat (@jen_keesmaat) August 7, 2018
Keesmaat is promising a target of 100,000 new units of “truly affordable” housing in 10 years (compared to Tory’s promise of 40,000 in 12 years). Says she’ll “unlock” city lands, use national housing streatrgy funds to build new purpose-built rental— Jennifer Pagliaro (@jpags) August 7, 2018
Keesmaat promised that if elected mayor of the city, she would build up to 100,000 affordable housing units for residents of Toronto that are currently struggling. The project would be completed over 10 years time but provide a high-quality building for people to live in.
It's not new information that Torontonians are struggling with skyrocketing rent prices and housing shortages. In fact, the current mayor, John Tory, made a statement last week about his commitment to making housing cost effective in the city.
Still, that didn't mean that Keesmaat was going to hold back when it came to discussing the current mayor's lack of commitment to the topic in the past. CP24 reported that she stated Tory "failed to use the tools available to him" when it comes to creating an affordable housing strategy.
Considering that she was also the Chief Planner alongside Tory before stepping down last year, Keesmaat would have the inside knowledge to comment on it. In fact, Tory had even commented about how the pair had a rocky start but declared her a good leader in 2016.
It didn't take Tory long to respond to Keesmaats statement with his own. The mayor took to Twitter to boast that he had in fact approved of almost 4,000 new living spaces for people struggling with affordable rent.
I'm determined to do everything we can to build more affordable housing in Toronto. I’m proud of the progress we have made this term approving and building affordable housing. pic.twitter.com/AMFIp7GZDK— John Tory (@JohnTory) August 7, 2018
Tory stated that he could create 40,000 units over a 12-year timeline, which is still falling short of what Keesmaat is promising.
Looks like this mayoral race is about to get interesting.